Healthy Road Trip Snacks to Help you Conquer

Tina Ruggiero
Planning travel nutritional needs.

As many of you know, I ride my bike. A lot. And I’m always trying to find ways to cycle faster, finish stronger or just endure a longer ride at a more consistent speed. I’m actually training for my first “century ride.”

During the past several months, I’ve been experimenting, and I’ve determined (also through a comprehensive review of the scientific literature) that consuming three to five grams of carbohydrates per day per pound of body weight about a week before a race is the magic formula. It allows me to store enough glycogen and perform at my best.

For example, if you’re a 160 lb. male cyclist, you need between 480 to 800 grams of carbohydrates a day for one week prior to competition. That goes for my friends who are runners, many of whom are getting ready to partake in the NYC Marathon.

A male cyclist

Keep in mind, carbohydrates come from vegetables, fruit, milk, and other dairy products, in addition to bread, pasta, and rice. So select high-quality, nutrient-dense food sources for the maximum benefit.

Granted, if you’re like me, you’ll put on a pound or two the week prior to race day, but don’t worry. You’ll lose that weight – and then some – during the race.

Healthy Eating on the Road

I thought I’d share some mobile nutrition tips with you to help make your travels a bit more pleasant and a whole lot healthier.

  • Sandwich bags: These are your best friends. When I pack my liquids and gels in a one-quart bag, I simultaneously pack my snacks and vitamins. So, if you open my carry-on, you’ll see three or four small sandwich bags filled with:

This might sound slightly fanatical, but doing this consistently helps form a healthy habit. We never had to pack liquids in baggies, right? Now, we don’t have a choice; we just do it automatically. The same principle applies to your snack packs.

A yellow minivan on a road trip.
  • The mini-bar: This is the enemy. To avoid temptation, leave the mini-bar key at the front desk or ask housekeeping to remove any sweets or snacks that aren’t tied down. They’ll be happy to clean out your room prior to check-in.
  • The gym: Plan ahead and toss sneakers, shorts, and a t-shirt into your bag. When you unpack your clothes you’ll have a gentle reminder to seek out the fitness center and work out. Even 20 minutes a day while on the road is beneficial. And working out doesn’t necessarily mean running on a treadmill. Explore the city you’re in with a brisk walk or run, see the sights, get some air, and do something good for your mind and body.
  • Water: Water makes up nearly 60% of your body, so it’s critical.

In any case, you can never go wrong with bananas.

Go Bananas!

Nothing beats the banana for nutrition, convenience, and versatility. Popular with athletes, bananas contain electrolytes which are essential in the hot summer months for maintaining fluid levels and preventing dehydration. Bananas are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins B6 and C, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. On the grill, they’re scrumptious, and you can’t go wrong adding them to a smoothie, roasting them, or incorporating this satisfying fruit into a dessert.

Fun fact

But I bet you didn’t know that banana peels are great for polishing shoes. Really. Use the inside of an empty peel on your leather shoes as you would shoe polish, then buff with a soft cloth. The banana’s oils soak into the leather and, like most shoe polishes, contain potassium to get the job done.

A Summary: Best Road Trip Snacks for 2023

Good snacks are essential to have on any road trip. The best healthy snacks will keep you energized and satisfied during your journey, without having to resort to unhealthy options from a gas station or drive-thru. Here is a summary of 20 healthy road trip snacks that can help make your next getaway more enjoyable!

1. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds provide healthy fats and are a good source of protein.

2. Trail Mix – Make your own trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, cereal, pretzels, and other healthy ingredients.

3. Hard-Boiled Eggs – Boil a dozen eggs before you leave and they will last the entire trip!

Boiled eggs are an ideal road trip snack.

4. Avocado Toast – Spread mashed avocado on healthy whole-grain toast for a healthy and tasty snack.

5. Edamame – Edamame is great as an energizing snack while traveling.

6. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter – Apples are full of healthy vitamins and minerals, and peanut butter will provide energy-boosting healthy fats.

7. Hummus and Raw Veggies – Pack a container of hummus with a variety of raw vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers for healthy snacking on the go.

8. Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt is high in protein, calcium, and healthy probiotics to keep your digestive system healthy during your travels.

9. Whole-Grain Crackers – Pack some whole-grain crackers in a resealable bag for healthy snacking anytime.

10. Nuts and Seeds – A handful of nuts or seeds is an excellent source of healthy fats and protein while traveling.

11. Popcorn – Popcorn is healthy, low in calories, and a great snack for the road. Plus, it’s easily prepared.

12. Dark Chocolate – A small piece of dark chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard on sugar.

13. Green Smoothie – Make healthy green smoothies before you leave and store them in reusable containers so they’re ready to grab and go!

Embrace the power of smoothies as a powerful road trip snack.

14. Dried Fruit – A healthy snack with natural sweetness, dried fruit is a great option for any road trip.

15. Cottage Cheese and Fruit – Pack some healthy cottage cheese in a container with your favorite fruits to keep you energized while driving.

16. Pita Chips and Hummus – Pita chips are healthy and portable, making them a great snack for any road trip.

17. Granola – Make your own healthy granola with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, oats, and other healthy ingredients for an energizing snack that can last the entire trip.

18. Smoothie Bowls – Whip up smoothie bowls in your blender before you leave and pack them in a sealable container for healthy snacking on the go.

19. Jerky – Look for healthy, low-sodium jerky to keep your energy up while traveling.

20. Kale Chips – Make healthy kale chips before you hit the road or buy store-bought for an energizing snack.

These healthy snacks will help keep you energized and satisfied during your road trip, without having to resort to unhealthy options from a gas station or drive-thru. So the next time you’re hitting the road, make sure to bring along some healthy snacks so you can enjoy your journey and stay healthy at the same time!

Happy travels!

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